“He is with me wherever I go,” said Quirrell quietly. “I met him when I traveled around the world. A foolish young man I was then, full of ridiculous ideas about good and evil. Lord Voldemort showed me how wrong I was. There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it… Since then, I have served him faithfully, although I have let him down many times. He has had to be very hard on me.” Quirrell shivered suddenly. “He does not forgive mistakes easily. (from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)
Do you see the gaping hole in Voldemort’s world view? There is no good or evil, he says and teaches his protege’, yet he is harsh and unforgiving when let down. But what is the let down if not evil to Voldemort? There is not such thing as a practical universalist. If a person tells you they don’t believe in good or evil, go and let the air out of their car tire or trick them into giving you their pay check, then you’ll see they believe in evil. No matter what we do all of us smuggle into our minds some standard against which we measure the world. It is unavoidable. It is the result of a created world, not a random one.
“Now Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and injured himself. So he sent messengers, saying to them, “Go and consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, to see if I will recover from this injury.” But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Go up and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going off to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?’ Therefore this is what the LORD says: ‘You will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!’ ” So Elijah went. When the messengers returned to the king, he asked them, “Why have you come back?” ”
“A man came to meet us,” they replied. “And he said to us, ‘Go back to the king who sent you…” (2 Kings 1:2-6)
Think about the men sent out from the king to inquire about his health. They meet a complete stranger on the road who tells them to go back to their king and tell him he is going to die. Without even getting the name of the stranger they obey his words. Either these messengers are stupid or they know truth when they hear it. Since you have to believe their very lives are at stake it must be a case of good hearing. There is a tuning fork within each person which resonates when struck by Truth.
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ (Ephesians 4:15)
A great habit to be in when writing is this: when you are really blocked and can’t seem to find the way forward, sit back and ask yourself ‘What do I really want to say here?” It sounds stupid but it works. It is easy to get lost trying to figure out how to say something just right and forget what we were saying in the first place. This works in relationships too. We get so wrapped up trying not to hurt someone’s feelings or making sure we say something perfectly. Take a step back. Assess the situation. Feel what you really feel. Think about what you’d really like the other person to know. Say it as clearly and kindly as you can. This is not only the “grown up” way to speak to each other, it is the way we help each other grow up into fullness in Jesus – both by the saying and by the hearing of truth spoken in love.
“But Jesus remained silent…” (Mark 14:61)
Knowing the truth does not mean you need to say it.
is not the point, it’s just a place.
A great marriage is not a marriage lacking in pain. It is a marriage where pain is regularly transformed into growth and life through the application of grace. It is a marriage which takes transformed pain and shares it with others in an offering of love to lead them to hope and truth.
I’m very glad to say my government is not shut down today. My Governor is still at work. His laws are still in effect. His courts are still open. His services still available. His beauty unbarred. His memorial free to view. His economy still active.